Editorial Articles

Volume-38, 16-22 December, 2017

Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017
A Boost to Entrepreneurial Employment

Dr. S. P. Sharma and Megha Kaul

The Mahakumbh of Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) held in Hyderabad from November 28th 2017 to November 30th 2017 has its significance in the present economic scenario. The Summit rightly focussed on inspiring innovating ideas, scripting new collaborations across countries and increasing economic opportunities not only for growing young population but also an increased participation of the women. The Summit presented an excellent platform for the entrepreneurs, investors, educators, government officials and start-ups to connect and establish meaningful discussions for strengthening India's growth story to the next level.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit was initiated in 2010 with participation being truly global. Every year, there is a specific theme of the Summit and entrepreneurs from different fields and diverse locations are invited to attend the captioned program.  The summit primarily includes an extensive range of ignite talks, mentoring, and networking sessions, panel discussions, pitch competitions and workshops aimed to provide an excellent platform for the entrepreneurs to gain knowledge and connect with experts which will help their businesses to grow. In the last seven years, the event has been successfully concluded in cities such as Washington D.C., Istanbul, Dubai, Marrakech, Nairobi, Kuala Lumpur, Silicon Valley before being conducted at Hyderabad this year.
The eighth edition of Global Entrepreneurship Summit ie GES 2017 was a three days event organized at Hyderabad with participation of around 1500 business representatives, entrepreneurs, educators, government officials and investors from India and abroad. This is the first time that the event has been organized in South Asia. The Summit also witnessed speakers who are leading entrepreneurs, investors, women entrepreneurs from diverse fields in India and abroad. The theme of this year's Summit was Women First, Prosperity for All. Ms. Ivanka Trump, Advisor to President of United States of America headed the US Delegation to the Summit. The Summit was inaugurated by Mr. Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India and Ms. Ivanka Trump.
Mr. Narendra Modi in his address, encouraged the youth and said that each of the youth has something valuable to contribute towards making New India by 2022. He invited the investors to come and Make in India and Invest in India. He said that he sees 800 million potential entrepreneurs who can work towards making the world a better place.
Ms. Ivanka Trump congratulated India on hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and stressed that it is the symbol of strengthened friendship between India and US and growing economic and security partnerships between the two nations. Stressing on the theme of the Summit, she added that if India closes the labour force gender gap by half, India could grow by over $150 billion in the next three years.
A paradigm shift in India's policy regime
The Summit has immense significance as the theme was in sync with India's ongoing policy environment. The Summit was rightly focussed on attracting entrepreneurs and investors and provided a platform for fruitful deliberations that will propel further investments. The topics for this year's summit included healthcare and life sciences; digital economy and financial technology; energy and infrastructure; and media and entertainment. These all are significant issues, relevant to the well-being of people and have immense potential to grow and accelerate growth of the nation, going forward. The focus of the government is to attract not only foreign but also domestic investors and entrepreneurs to invest in India and provide employment opportunities to the millions of people of the country.
The industrial policy of India like Make in India is a programme that is aimed at attracting investors from India and abroad. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit was the right platform that re-affirms India's commitment to garnering investments in various sectors of the economy. The investors and entrepreneurs from various parts of the world appreciated the efforts of the government in providing a conducive environment to the businesses to grow and prosper in the country.
The implementation of GST, a landmark reform in the history of Indian economy has made India an attraction to think about it, to discuss about it and to explore it to participate in its incredible growth story. The GST has made India one single unified market which has simplified the taxation regime and facilitated ease of doing business. This is expected to foster entrepreneurial spirit in the country.
These reforms coupled with other reforms such as Jan Dhan Yojna, opening floodgates for FDIs, Swachh Bharat Mission, Digital India, Start up India, MUDRA Yojana, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and setting up of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) have pushed India's image in international markets. The various economies of the world are looking up to India as a growing emerging economy and are willing to invest in the country.
Further, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India become more meaningful and relevant as India's global rankings have improved in the recent times and we are increasingly becoming competitive at global charts. In Global Retail Development Index 2017, India ranked first out of 30 countries replacing China from the first place. In the Logistics Performance Index (LPI), India ranked 35th amongst 160 countries. India ranked at 40th out of 138 countries on Global Competitiveness index 2016. Further, India has ranked 104th out of 149 countries in Prosperity Index and contributed around 20% in global prosperity. India has been titled as 'One of the biggest driver' of global prosperity growth over the past ten years, where millions moved from poverty to prosperity. And most importantly, India has improved significantly by 30 positions in the Ease of Doing Business Index to rank at 100th position which is highly encouraging.
Key Takeaways of the Summit
*GES 2017 participants were truly global, with equal representation from almost all the regions of the world.
*Entrepreneurs represented a diverse range of geographies, industries, business size and scalability.
*Investors and representatives from organizations that support entrepreneurs were hand-picked to accelerate investment, networking and mentoring.
*Special emphasis was placed on empowering young and women entrepreneurs and the role they play in bringing prosperity in the country.
*The Summit also focussed on Digital Economy and Financial Technology, Energy and Infrastructure, Healthcare and lifesciences and Media and Entertainment
*GES included sessions on investing in healthcare startups, low-cost innovations in revolutionizing healthcare and reimagining the future of health.
*The Summit included session on digital economy and financial technology as game changers in payment platforms, transforming to cashless society among others.
*The session on developing world-class infrastructure was also organized in the Summit
*Summit organized a session on path to moviemaking, creative entrepreneurship, and advancing women's opportunities in the media industry.
The deliberations were in sync with India's policy focus which is a paradigm shift during the last few years. The government now has been announcing significant reform measures in FDI to attract foreign investors in the country which has made India the largest recipient of FDI in the world. In 2016-17, India received US $43.47 billion FDI which is the highest in the last seventeen years.
To facilitate the Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the economy, the government has set up the MUDRA Bank with primary objective of developing the micro enterprise sector in the country by extending various supports including financial support in the form of refinance, so as to achieve the goal of "funding the unfunded". MUDRA has been proved a major breakthrough for the entrepreneurship development in India as the scheme has generated self employment opportunities for the 5.5 crore people. The total disbursements have increased significantly from Rs. 1.37 lakh crore in FY16 to Rs. 1.86 lakh crore in FY17. In the current financial year (as per data available till 1.12.2017), loans worth Rs. 117569.17 crores have been sanctioned while loans worth Rs. 112975.09 crores has been disbursed which shows that the MSMEs are seeking these programmes of the government for the growth of their businesses.
Further, the government has also initiated Start-up India to empower Start-ups to grow through innovations and to accelerate entrepreneurial spirit in the country.  Under the initiative the Start-ups can avail income tax exemption for 3 years in a block of 7 years if incorporated after 1st April 2016, 941 schools have been identified for established Tinkering Labs, among others. It may be mentioned that the vision of the government to give a thrust to the start-ups is in consonance with the theme of GES 2017 which also focused on providing a platform for start-ups to meet investors who are willing to fund good projects.
All these measures have improved the ease of doing business in India. India is the only country in South Asia and BRICS economies to feature among most improved economies of the Doing Business Report this year. India has improved its rank in 6 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to international best practices (Distance to Frontier score). This can be attributed to the mantra of "Reform, Perform, Transform" given by the Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, wherein a strong leadership has provided the political will to carry out comprehensive and complex reforms, supported by a bureaucracy committed to perform.
On the basis of analysis of India's Ease of Doing Business Ranking during the year 2016 and 2017, it is observed that despite there was an improvement in the Distance to Frontier score of India from 53.93 in 2016 to 56.05 in 2017, India's rank remained stagnant at 130th position due to comparative improvements in the rankings of other economies. However, India's doing business ranking in the year 2018 is improved by 30 positions along with significant improvement in the DTF score.  
The improvement in the ease of doing rankings of India served as an attractive proposition for the participants of GES 2017 to come and participate in the Summit as the report shows that the government is working diligently to facilitate ease of doing business which is why many businesses and industry stakeholders participated in the Summit. 
Further, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is a comprehensive and systemic reform, is the biggest economic reform  next to GST and will give a quantum leap to the functioning of the credit market. The law consolidates all the legislations relating to insolvency of companies, which were earlier contained in a number of legislations, into a single legislation. Such consolidation provides greater clarity in law and facilitates the application of consistent and coherent provisions to different stakeholders affected by business failure or inability to pay debt. The implementation of this law has improved our ease of doing business ranking to a greater extent as we have jumped 33 spots from 136th rank last year in resolving insolvency to 103rd in the Doing Business Report 2018 which is highly appreciable.
Ease of Doing Business: Rank & Score
Overall Rank
DTF score
Overall Rank
DTF score
Overall Rank
DTF score
Source: PHD Research Bureau, Compiled from World Bank
In addition, the government has recently unveiled a two year roadmap of Rs. 2.11 lakh crore for recapitalization of banking sector in the country. This will facilitate the public sector banks to increase credit flow to MSMEs which will propel growth and create jobs. This has opened floodgates to businesses across the world to come and invest in India provided an interesting opportunities for businesses which participated in GES 2017.
Due to these momentous reform measures, countries such as USA, Japan, China, UK, Canada amongst others are showing great interest in India. Firms from various economies are ready to invest in India and India is slowly becoming a major investment hub. The country has been rated as a bright spot in the global economy as stated by IMF Chief Ms. Christine Lagarde. Recently, Morgan Stanley has also projected that India's GDP will hit USD 6 trillion by 2027 on digital leap.
The reform measures have been strengthening the industrial sector of the economy and various sectors are witnessing growth. This has led to creation of immense opportunities for employment creation for the youth. Further, the reforms have created a conducive environment for Entrepreneurship. This is evident from the improvement in ranking of India by one spot to 68th in Global Entrepreneurship Index 2018 released by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute, Washington, D.C., USA, which was released in the GES 2017.
Various sectors of the economy are emerging as growth drivers of the economy. The Agri and food processing sector, automobile and auto-components, drugs and pharmaceuticals, handicrafts and handlooms industry, leather and leather products, power, textiles among others provide huge potential to the entrepreneurs and investors to come and invest in India. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit provided an excellent platform to dwell upon identifying opportunities for investing in these growth-driving sectors of the country.
A socio-economic approach
In terms of socio-economic development, women's participation in the workforce has increased in India. Women are now in forefront in various fronts ranging from politics, business to media and entertainment. However, the role of women in workforce participation needs to be strengthened further as there is a significant increase in the number of working women quitting jobs in the country. According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), in the first four month of 2017, around 2.4 million women fell off the employment map which is a matter of concern. Further, India slipped 21 spots globally in terms of gender equality and ranked 108th out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2017. It may be mentioned that India's female workforce participation rate is highest among illiterates and college graduates in both rural and urban areas. Nonetheless, with programmes such as Global Entrepreneurship Summit which are centered on participation of women in workforce, it is expected that their participation will increase manifold in the coming times.
It may be mentioned that on the concluding day of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Telangana, Shri K Chandrashekar Rao announced the creation of Rs 15-crore T-Fund (Telangana Fund) exclusively for women entrepreneurs which would offer seed fund between Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1 crore on behalf of the state government which would create enormous employment opportunities for women and also for people at large.
While the government has been taking measures to promote women participation in the economy such as amendments in the maternity benefit act, more measures are needed. The government must also focus on emancipation of women participation in the workforce by incentivising the private sectors, encouraging discussions and deliberations on the equal pay for men and women and creating more awareness about its campaign such as Beti Bachao Beti Padhao.
These measures will go a long way in fostering entrepreneurial spirit in women, encouraging them to take up jobs in diverse fields and bring about all inclusive growth as well as prosperity in the country.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 which was organized first time in India with the theme of women first, prosperity for all, focussed on organizing meaningful discussions on innovating ideas, scripting new collaborations across countries and increasing economic opportunities particularly for women. The Summit presented an excellent platform for the entrepreneurs, investors, educators, government officials and start-ups to connect and establish meaningful discussions for fostering economic growth. The GES 2017 reiterates the vision of the government and that is to accelerate growth of entrepreneurship and businesses in various fields which is highly appreciable. The government has announced various reform measures for strengthening the business environment so as to attract more domestic and foreign investors to come and Make in India. The Summit was rightly centred on discussing about the requirements of the businesses in terms of resources, reform measures which will also provide a roadmap to the government to focus on, going forward. The Summit was addressed by speakers from diverse fields and many of them were women which stressed on the need to have more women in the top echelons of organizations. Going ahead, the government must also focus on announcing significant reform measures to encourage greater women participation in various fields of economy and businesses so as to have an all-inclusive growth in the coming times.
(Dr. S. P. Sharma is Chief Economist, PHD Chamber  of Commerce & Industry and Megha Kaul is Associate Economist, PHD Chamber.
Views expressed are personal.)
Image: Courtesy Google